Notice Regarding Synod Agenda
CLERKS of Presbyteries, conveners and clerks of committees, and all interested parties should note that all items of business intended to be placed on the Synod Agenda must be in the hands of the Clerk of Synod by Tuesday, 4th April, 2000.(Rev.) John MacLeod, Clerk of Synod
Notice to Conveners and Clerks of Standing Committees
THE Conveners and Clerks of all Standing Committees of Synod should note that all committee reports must be in the hands of the Clerk of Synod by Tuesday, 4th April, 2000, for printing purposes. These reports should contain information about the work of the committees during the year. Recommendations and proposals should be sent as separate items for the Synod Agenda.
(Rev.) John MacLeod, Clerk of Synod
Meetings of Presbytery
NORTHERN: At Dingwall, on Tuesday, 20th June, at 2 Prayer meeting.
WESTERN: At Laide, on Tuesday, 27th June, at 6 Prayer meeting.
SKYE: At Portree, on Tuesday, 4th April, at 11 am.
OUTER ISLES: At Stornoway, on Tuesday, 13th June, at 1 Prayer meeting.
AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND: Auckland, Friday, 2nd June, at 2.30 Prayer meeting.
ZIMBABWE: At Bulawayo, on Tuesday, 13th June, at 1 Prayer meeting.
The Act of Settlement 1701
THE Northern Presbytery has written to Lord Forsyth to express its grave concern at his proposal to alter the Act of Settlement 1701, to allow the heir to the British throne to marry a Roman Catholic. The Presbytery is thankful that this matter was defeated by 65 votes to 14 in the House of Lords, but is concerned that Lord Forsyth is reported to be pursuing the matter.
The letter to Lord Forsyth continues: “Many arguments have been rehearsed already, but the Presbytery wishes to draw to your attention that it believes that the solution to the difficulties of Roman Catholics lies with themselves and not with the British Parliament.
“Roman Catholics are expected to raise their children as Roman Catholics, so that a Roman Catholic consort to a British Monarch would be under constant pressure to do so, and the British public would be under constant pressure to allow it. When this happens, this automatically means that the heir to the Throne will be a Roman Catholic, with the constitutional consequences thereof. It also means that the Roman Catholic religion of the Monarch would be locked in ad perpetuam. This would be a great deal worse than the current situation. We will be pleased to learn how you consider that this could be avoided.
“We believe that the problem is not of our making, but rather of the pope of Romes making. Let him abandon his claims to temporal and spiritual sovereignty over our monarch; let him abandon his claim to the first allegiance upon Her Majestys subjects; and let him allow Roman Catholics to have the freedom to allow the British Monarch the right to bring up their children in the Protestant religion. These matters are the reason for 1689 Bill of Rights An Act Declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject and Settling the Succession of the Crown, the precursor to the Act of Settlement, whose framers understood the Roman Catholic religion well enough that they felt the need, in this Act, to abjure as impious and heretical this damnable doctrine and position, that princes excommunicated or deprived by the Pope or any authority of the see of Rome may be deposed or murdered by their subjects or any other whatsoever. And I do declare that no foreign prince, person, prelate, state or potentate hath or ought to have any jurisdiction, power, superiority, pre-eminence or authority, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within this realm. The Bill of Rights was framed . . . in order to such an establishment as that their religion, laws and liberties might not again be in danger of being subverted”.
“One recalls the imperious statement of Roman Catholic Cardinal Thomas Winning reported in the national press in early 1999 that Roman Catholicism will be the sole faith in Scotland in the 21st century, boldly proclaiming its aim to dominate the religious life of Scotland. Already the Scottish Executive is feeling his influence. Thus the Act of Settlement states: It has been found by experience that it is inconsistent with the safety and welfare of this Protestant Kingdom to be governed by a Popish Prince or by any King or Queen marrying a Papist. These are the words of men who loved liberty and loved their country, and who desired to warn as well as to secure succeeding generations against the evils which they had suffered in their own day under Roman Catholicism.
“The difficulty for Roman Catholics does not arise from inequality or intolerance, but from their own doctrine with its practical outworking, for once a Roman Catholic is on the throne they will be expected to bring up their children as Roman Catholics.
“The charge of institutional sectarianism is being laid against the Act of Settlement. Rather, the Act excludes those who submit to a domineering faith, a faith which would domineer our throne once it is upon it. The Act of Settlement protects against an irreversible domination of the British Throne by a minority religion in this country, Roman Catholicism, but which has enormous international power and which aspires to even greater power. “The former Archbishop of York, Dr Habgood, was a long-standing advocate for disestablishment of the Church of England, but eventually he changed his mind as he admitted that he had not realised how many threads would unwind. The same will be true of the repeal of the Act of Settlement. The Presbytery hopes that you will find your way to re-examine this important constitutional matter impinging upon our civil and religious liberties.”(Rev.) D. M. Boyd, Clerk of Presbytery
Resignation of the Rev. Donald MacLean
IT will be of interest to the whole Church that Rev. Donald MacLean did, at the meeting of the Southern Presbytery on 22nd February, resign from the pastorate of the St Judes congregation. This was at the close of 39½ years in the Glasgow charge, and in the 51st year of his ministry. It will be remembered that the first 11½ years were spent in Portree. The resignation was on the ground of an eye defect which prevented him from driving and thus doing the pastoral work in his large congregation. Mr MacLeans long service to the cause of Christ was outstanding for its breadth and quality. The Lord endowed him with a number of gifts which he used unsparingly for the spiritual benefit of individuals and the courts and committees of the whole Church. Happily, the Lord sparing him, Mr MacLean can continue preaching and serving Christs cause in various ways, so we wish him the Lords help and blessing in these spheres. For all his past labour we give thanks to the Lord and pray that He would raise up a seed to serve Him (Ps. 22:30).
(Rev.) A. McPherson (Clerk of Southern Presbytery).
Dominion and Overseas Visits Abroad
REV. John MacLeod has returned safely from his visit to Texas to preach to the group there associated with the Church, as has the Rev. D. A. Ross from his visit to Odessa to preach to the group there and to do other church business. May the Lord bless their work to our friends in those places.
The Rev R MacLeod is presently visiting Texas for the first and second Sabbaths of this month, D.V., to conduct services and visit the homes of our people there. He will then proceed to Chesley for the last three Sabbaths of the month, to conduct the usual services and also the Communion services. May the Lord bless his work there.
(Rev.) Donald A Ross, Convener Dominion and Overseas Committee
Dornoch Communion Season
THE Kirk Session of the Dornoch, Bonar, Lairg, Tain and Fearn Congregation has decided that the Dornoch Communion will be held on the first Sabbath of October, D.V.
(Rev.) D. J. MacDonald
Chesley April Communion
God willing, for this year only, the Chesley Communion will take place on the fourth Sabbath of April instead of the usual third Sabbath. It is hoped that the Rev. Roderick MacLeod, North Harris, will be officiating.
(Rev.) Keith Watkins, Interim Moderator
General Building Fund
BY appointment of the Synod, the Special Collection, on behalf of the General Building Fund, is due to be taken in congregations during the month of April, D. V.R. A. Campbell, General Treasurer
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